Tenants launch a petition in bid to save Ashfield Homes

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A PETITION to save Ashfield Homes has been set up by council home residents concerned about their future.

Tenants and residents want Ashfield Homes to continue to run 7,000 council homes in Ashfield because they think the firm does a better job than Ashfield District Council would.

But councillors could vote later this year to effectively scrap the Arms Length Management Organisation in an attempt to save millions of pounds.

Doreen Savage, chairman of Ashfield Tenants and Residents Association, said she had collected more than 100 signatures so far - and the council could not ignore the will of the tenants.

“I think Ashfield District Council are going to see this petition and realise what a mistake it would be to get rid of Ashfield Homes. It is about time they (the councillors) started listening to the people who elected them.”

Meanwhile, a report into the future of Ashfield Homes has been pushed back a month.

Ashfield councillors were expecting to see a report produced by senior managers for the council and Ashfield Homes ahead of their meeting on 28th June.

An Ashfield District Council spokesman said the report would now not be considered until 28th July.

The final decision would be made between October and December this year.

She said: “Following the positive response of employees, Trade Unions, and the local media to recent briefing sessions which have been held to explain the Council’s future Housing Options, senior management have decided to defer taking a report to Council until 28th July.

A number of further questions and queries were raised at the briefings, which need further consideration and development by the project’s governance board.

“The decision to defer consideration of the report until July’s Council meeting will enable these additional points to be researched in detail to facilitate full debate at the meeting.”

But Mrs Savage said the delay would impact on consultation with residents.

“They are supposed to be consulting with us but as far as I can tell, they’ve not started anything yet. If they push back the report it is going to cut into the consultation time. Someone is getting a raw deal out of all of this - and I think it is the tenants.”